Persephone (also known as Kore) was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus.
The most famous myth about her is that of her kidnapping and eventual marriage to Hades, her uncle and King of the Underworld. Zeus gave his permission to Hades to marry his daughter despite knowing that Demeter would not agree to the match.
One day Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow with her companions. She wandered away from the group distracted by a glorious narcissus covered in a hundred fragrant blooms (Zeus made this to ensnare her). As she reached out for it, the earth opened up and Hades sped out in his four horse chariot and carried the girl off screaming into the Underworld. A water nymph Cyane saw and tried to stop Hades, but failed. In her sorrow she dissolved into the waters of her pool.
Demeter was distraught that her daughter was missing. She wandered across the earth searching for her. Because of her loss and grief Demeter withheld all her gifts from mankind leaving the earth barren and inflicting a great famine. Zeus decided to intervene again, for the sake of mankind, he sent Hermes to the Underworld to bring Persephone back to her mother. But before she left Persephone ate some pomegranate seeds, which Ascalaphus (son of the Underworld river god Acheron) reported to Hermes. Out of anger for his tattling either Persephone or Demeter turned him into an owl.
Mother and daughter were joyously reunited however because Persephone had eaten the seeds she was obliged to return to Hades for part of every year (either 4 or 6 months depending on the version of the myth). This is why during winter seeds do not grow as Demeter is mourning the loss of her daughter.
The return of Persephone to the Earth every year was celebrated every year with religious festivals like the Eleusinian Mysteries and the Thesmophoria.
Persephone therefore has a dual nature; she is the Queen of the Dead, a dread and awesome goddess, and also Kore, living with her mother, a goddess of spring’s bounty, of joy and hope. In the myths of others she always appears in her Queen of the Underworld role.
She is by her husband’s side when Orpheus ventures into the underworld to retrieve his wife Eurydice. She quarrelled with Aphrodite over possession over the beautiful Adonis, gaining his company for each part of the year.